When you organise a Melbourne car rental with East Coast Car Rentals, rest assured you are not limited to the geographical scope the city has to offer.

Here are some great day trips you can take if you fancy a trip off the beaten track. If you’re flying into Melbourne, get in touch with our car hire Tullamarine Airport team today!

Phillips Island: 140 km from the heart of Melbourne

If you are a fan of penguins, this could be the perfect day trip destination. But even if these small creatures don’t tickle your fancy, there is guaranteed to be something else to entertain you.

The nightly Penguin Parade is what attracts most visitors. Here, you can sit and watch Little Penguins emerge from the ocean to waddle up to the sand dunes where their nests are.

Prepare for a cold night if you intend on doing this as the parade generally kicks off around 9 p.m, when it can get a bit nippy.

During the day before the parade, you could visit one of the island’s many surf beaches.  Woolamai and Shelly Beach are the most popular options.

Bendigo: 150km from the CBD

It won’t take you long to reach this exciting destination – around 90 minutes along the Calder Freeway – and the journey will be well worth it.

Once home to Victoria’s gold mining district, this city features a stunning array of cosmopolitan treats while still retaining its historical charm.

The city is well known for its Art Gallery, one of the most forward-thinking in the country, so allow yourself time to take in all this space has to offer.

Another not-to-be-missed destination is the town of Castlemaine, which could make a great stop for a spot of lunch or a quiet coffee.

Flinders and Cape Schanck: 86 km from Melbourne

Flinders is a township located near the Southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula, with plenty to offer in addition to its coastal scenery set amongst stunning rolling green hills.

Rather than getting lost in your car rental in Melbourne, head to the Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens and get lost in these areas instead.

If you head a further 12 km west, you will hit the small community known as Cape Schanck, which is home to the world’s cleanest air. It is so fresh and uncontaminated scientists have even bottled it after gale force winds. The reason it is so clean is that it blows in directly from the Antarctic.

Healesville: 65km from Melbourne’s CBD

Make sure you keep an eye out for your destination as these gorgeous roads simply lend themselves to extended drives!

However, if you continue on you will be disappointed to miss out on the highlights of this beautiful town.

Located in the Yarra Valley, you will be surrounded by hills full of beautiful wineries, fruit and berry farms as well as a notable amount of stunning forests.

Not to be missed are the Healesville Sanctuary and Badger Weir Park. The former has been open since the 1930s and you can spot many impressive birds, reptiles and mammals here. The latter is another fantastic nature experience that will give you the chance to walk through fern gullies and forests.

The Dandenongs: A mere 35km from the CBD

You don’t need to travel far if you want to escape the heat and excitement of the big city. Mount Dandenong is only a short drive away.

Relax in beautiful surroundings and with fern glades, an assortment of quaint villages and tall forests to treat you, there is something here for everyone.

Whatever you do, make sure you climb to great heights. Once you reach the top of Mount Dandenong you will have the perfect spot to view the big city lights.

While you are here, you may also want to visit the National Rhododendron Gardens to see what is in bloom. You could also wander through lush gullies and mountain ash in Sherbrooke Forest, One Tree Hill or the Doongalla Homestead.